Schools across the country are shutting their doors for weeks, months, or even the rest of the school year. And one thing that’s becoming increasingly clear is that students and parents rely on public schools for a lot, including nutritious meals. According to NPR, the federal free school lunch program is the second-largest anti-hunger program in the United States. The program provides an estimated 30 million meals per day.
Now that kids are out of school for the foreseeable future, school officials are scrambling to ensure students still have access to food. Districts across the country are offering free lunch pickup and drop off locations. There is no single resource to share, but parents should be able to find information on the local school district’s website. (Also check out our city-specific resources below for some of the country's hardest-hit areas.) Congress is trying to help as well by extending extra benefits to families already enrolled in the SNAP (food stamps) program. It works by adding the value of school meals directly onto SNAP EBT cards. This allows families to buy extra groceries to help cover the meals schools usually provide.
Businesses are also stepping in to ensure children do not go hungry. We’ve rounded up the large chain restaurants that are offering free lunches for kids. There are also countless small businesses in every community doing the same. Google “free lunch for students near me” to find resources in your own neighborhood.
Moe's Southwest Grill
Get 1 free kids' entree with the purchase of an adult entree. Delivery is free for all orders.
Many locations are offering free meals to seniors & kids. Call local franchises for details.
No Kid Hungry
See how you can help feed the millions of vulnerable children who are losing out on healthy meals during school closures.
The nation's largest domestic hunger-relief organization connects people with food and volunteers in the work to end hunger.
Find a Food Bank Near You
If you are in need or want to donate, Feeding America can help connect you to a food bank in your community.